WILMINGTON, DE – DuPont has reported a fourth-quarter profit as the company reduced expenses and benefited from increased demand for automotive plastics and electronics materials. The company exceeded Wall Street predictions and has increased its guidance for 2010.
The company’s fourth-quarter 2009 earnings were $.48 per share, compared to a fourth-quarter 2008 loss of $.70 per share. Excluding significant items, fourth-quarter 2009 earnings were $.44 per share versus a $.28 per share loss in the prior year. Sales of $6.4 billion were up 10 percent versus the prior year, led by sales growth greater than 20 percent for titanium dioxide, electronic materials, performance polymers and seed products. Volume grew 10 percent, with increases in all regions. Asia-Pacific sales exceeded pre-recession levels with volume up 34 percent versus prior year, reflecting very strong demand in China, Japan, Korea and India. Full-year 2009 earnings were $1.92 per share versus $2.20 in 2008. Excluding significant items, 2009 earnings were $2.03 per share versus $2.78 in the prior year.
In the Performance Chemicals segment, sales of $1.3 billion increased $113 million, or nine percent. The sales increase was led by 17 percent higher volumes, partly offset by lower prices.
The Performance Coatings segment posted sales of $975 million, an increase of $70 million, or eight percent, principally reflecting higher selling prices. Volumes were two percent lower, reflecting continued industrial market weakness in developed regions, partly offset by higher demand in automotive OEM markets.
Looking forward, DuPont remains committed to its 20 percent compound annual earnings growth goal for the 2009-2012 time period and 2010 free-cash-flow target of greater than $1.5 billion as announced in November 2009. DuPont has increased its full-year 2010 earnings guidance to a range of $2.15 to $2.45 per share versus the previous guidance of $2.10 to $2.40 per share.